Pickering nano-emulsions stabilized by solid lipid nanoparticles as a temperature sensitive drug delivery system†
The development of biomaterials with low environmental impact has seen increased interest in recent years. In this field, lipid nanoparticles have found a privileged place in research and industry. The purpose of this study was to develop Pickering O/W nano-emulsions only stabilized by solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), as a new generation of safe, non-toxic, biocompatible, and temperature-sensitive lipid nano-carriers. The first part is dedicated to understanding the interfacial behavior of SLNs and their related stabilization mechanisms onto nano-emulsions formulated by ultrasonication. Investigations were focused on the surface coverage as a function of the SLN size and volume fraction of dispersed oil, in order to prove that the droplet stabilization is effectively performed by the nanoparticles, and to disclose the limitations of this formulation. Characterization is performed by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The second part of the study investigated SLN adsorption on a model oil/water interface (surface tension and rheology) through an axisymmetrical drop shape analysis (drop tensiometer), following the interfacial tension and the rheological behavior. The objective of this part is to characterize the phenomenon governing the droplet/interface interactions, and disclose the rheological behavior of the interfacial SLN monolayer. The effect of temperature was also investigated, proving a real destabilization of the nano-suspension when the sample is heated above a temperature threshold, impacting on the integrity of the SLNs, which partially melt, and strongly enhancing the release of a model drug (ketoprofen) encapsulated in the nano-emulsion oil core. To conclude, Pickering nano-emulsions only stabilized by SLNs appear to be a very efficient innovative drug nano-carrier, opening new doors as a potential temperature-sensitive drug delivery system.